MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises after government reshuffle – Reuters

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DUBAI May 8 Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in
early trade on Sunday after the king announced a sweeping
reorganisation of the economic policy-making apparatus, while
most other Gulf bourses were firm.

The Saudi stock index climbed 1.0 percent in the
first 15 minutes. Petrochemical shares were particularly strong
with Saudi Basic Industries up 1.2 percent.

The Saudi reorganisation replaced the oil minister and
central bank governor and restructured some major ministries.

Many fund managers think key questions remain over Saudi
Arabia’s economic reforms, including how they can be financed
and the degree to which they can be implemented, but local
investors have been reacting bullishly to reform announcements.

State utility Saudi Electric climbed 5.4 percent.
Saturday’s reshuffle moved the electricity portfolio to a new
Energy, Industry and Natural Resources Ministry under Khaled
al-Falih, chairman of state oil company Aramco; this could give
fresh impetus to a restructuring of Saudi Electric, which has
been discussed for years with little progress.

Dubai’s index gained 0.8 percent to 3,332 points,
bouncing from near technical support on the late March lows of
3,248-3,253 points.

GFH Financial rose 1.4 percent; it has been gaining
since late last week, when it said it had signed a preliminary
letter of intent with Abu Dhabi’s Eshraq Properties,
under which GFH might sell real estate assets to Eshraq in
exchange for Eshraq shares.

Abu Dhabi’s index edged down 0.1 percent although Abu
Dhabi Commercial Bank rebounded for a second day from
a slump following its first-quarter earnings. The stock rose 1.3

Qatar edged up 0.1 percent as Dlala Brokerage
added 3.0 percent.

Kuwait’s Burgan Bank rose 1.5 percent after
reporting an 18.5 percent fall in first-quarter net profit to
14.3 million dinars ($47.66 million); HSBC had forecast the bank
would make 12.68 million dinars. Kuwait’s index climbed
0.3 percent.

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises after government reshuffle – Reuters}